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Has NASCAR promised Washington two Cup races? UPDATE #2 International Speedway Corp. has put another $14 million on the table to sweeten its bid to build a $368 million racetrack near Seattle.  ISC officials announced Tuesday a bill to finance the 80,000-seat racetrack was filed this week in the Washington Legislature with support from Lt. Gov. Brad Owen and 20 legislators. The latest cost estimate for the facility is $23 million more than ISC's earlier price tag of $345 million, issued in 2005. In the new plan, ISC commits $180 million of its own money for the project, up from an earlier offer of $166 million.

02/06/07 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today.  International Speedway Corp. has pledged to guarantee two major race weekends and not to build a track within 500 miles of its Washington track if the state legislature passes its financial proposal.  Those were two of the details announced Tuesday as the proposed financial package was submitted to the Washington House of Representatives despite not having the support from the area where ISC currently wants to build the track.  

ISC will fund $180 million of the $368 million project, with $164 million being paid by bonds supported by sales tax revenue generated by out-of-state race fans and $24 million from an admissions tax.  The bonds will be issued by a public speedway authority and won't use any current state taxes. ISC also will pay for all on-site and off-site infrastructure improvements and cost overruns.  [Editor's Note:  Look for Martinsville to be totally axed from the Nextel Cup schedule and its two races given to Washington State should this happen.]

02/02/07 Washington Lt. Gov. Brad Owen announced Thursday he supports the funding package for International Speedway Corp. to build a race track in Washington.

ISC currently is looking at an area of land in Kitsap County, about 20 miles south of Seattle. The legislation, which likely will be submitted in the next week, is not specific for that site.

According to a news release from Owen's office, ISC would invest a minimum of $180 million toward the speedway, with $164 million of the estimated $368 million in construction costs to be financed with bonds issued by the public speedway authority. An additional $24 million bond issue would be backed by a facility admissions tax.

"This track should be built. It's important to the state's economy and would provide thousands of local jobs," Owen said in the release. "A NASCAR track would be like bringing two Super Bowls to the state of Washington every year."  More at Scenedaily.com

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